BMV Overcharge Litigation

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. What is the purpose of this notice?
  3. What is a class action and who is involved?
  4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?
  5. What does the Lawsuit complain about?
  6. How do the Defendants answer?
  7. Has the Court decided who is right?
  8. What is the Plaintiff asking for?
  9. Is there any money available now?
  10. Am I part of the Class?
  11. What happens if I do nothing at all?
  12. Why would I ask to be excluded?
  13. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?
  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  15. Should I get my own lawyer?
  16. How will the lawyers be paid?
  17. How and when will the Court decide who is right?
  18. Do I have to come to the trial?
  19. Will I get money after the trial?
  20. Are more details available?
  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    The Lawsuit says that since 2002 the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (the “BMV”) has overcharged Indiana residents who have paid one or more fees for certain transactions, and that these overcharges should be returned to the people and entities who paid them. 

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  2. What is the purpose of this notice?

    The notice explains that the Court has allowed, or “certified,” a class action lawsuit that may affect you. If you are a member of the Class, you have legal rights and options that you may exercise before the Court holds a trial. The trial is to decide whether the claims being made against the BMV, on your behalf, are correct. Judge John F. Hanley of the Marion County, Indiana, Superior Court is overseeing this class action. The Lawsuit is known as Raab v. Abernathy and The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Cause No. 49D11-1310-PL-038001.

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  3. What is a class action and who is involved?

    In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called “Class Representatives” sue on behalf of other people who have similar claims. The people together are a “Class” or “Class Members.” The Class Representative who sued—and all the Class Members like her—are called “the Plaintiffs”. The companies, state agencies or individuals sued by the Class Members are called “the Defendants”. One court resolves the issues for everyone in the Class—except for those people who choose to exclude themselves from the Class.

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  4. Why is this lawsuit a class action?

    The Court decided that this lawsuit can be a class action and move towards a trial because it meets the requirements of Indiana Trial Rule 23, which governs class actions in Indiana courts. Specifically, the Court found that:

    • There are millions of persons who may fall within the defined Class;
    • There are legal questions and facts that are common to each of them;
    • The Class Representative’s claims are typical of the claims of the rest of the Class;
    • The Class Representative and the lawyers representing the Class will fairly and adequately represent the Class’ interests;
    • The common legal questions and facts are more important than questions that affect only individuals; and
    • This class action will be more efficient than having many individual lawsuits.

    More information about why the Court is allowing this lawsuit to be a class action is in the Court’s order certifying the Class.

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  5. What does the Lawsuit complain about?

    In the Lawsuit, the Plaintiff says that all of the charges that may be imposed by the BMV for various services are set forth in statutes and Public Laws adopted by the Indiana General Assembly, and administrative rules promulgated by the BMV, but that since at least 2002 the fees imposed on Indiana drivers by the BMV for certain transactions have exceeded the charges that are authorized by these laws. You can read the Plaintiff’s Amended Class Action Complaint in the Case Documents section of this website.

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  6. How do the Defendants answer?

    The BMV admits overcharging for certain fees since 2002. However, the BMV denies many of the allegations in the Complaint and has asserted legal defenses. You can read the Defendants’ Answer to the Class Action Complaint in the Case Documents.

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  7. Has the Court decided who is right?

    The Court hasn’t decided whether the Defendants or the Plaintiff is correct. By establishing the Class and issuing the Notice, the Court is not suggesting that the Plaintiff will win or lose this case. The Plaintiff must prove her claims and the claims of the Plaintiff Class against the Defendants at a trial.

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  8. What is the Plaintiff asking for?

    The Plaintiff is asking for a judgment requiring the BMV to refund to the Plaintiff Class the amount by which it overcharged for fees plus interest.

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  9. Is there any money available now?

    No.  There will be no money available for distribution unless the Class wins the case or the case is settled.

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  10. Am I part of the Class?

    You are a member of the Class if you fall within the following definition set forth in Judge Hanley’s order certifying the Class:

    All persons and entities that paid to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles one or more of the Overcharged Fees during the corresponding Overcharge Period identified on the table in the Notice.

    The list of Overcharged Fees and corresponding Overcharge Periods can be found in the Court’s Order Granting Motion for Class Certification (with Amended Class Definition).

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  11. What happens if I do nothing at all?

    You don’t have to do anything now if you want to keep the possibility of getting money awarded in this lawsuit. By doing nothing you are staying in the Class. If you are a member of the Plaintiff Class and stay in the Class, and if the Plaintiff obtains money from the BMV, either as a result of the trial or a settlement, you will be eligible to participate in the distribution of that money. Keep in mind that if you do nothing now, regardless of whether the Plaintiffs win or lose the trial, you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue, the BMV on your own about the same legal claims that are the subject of this lawsuit. You will also be legally bound by all of the Orders the Court issues and judgments the Court makes in this class action.

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  12. Why would I ask to be excluded?

    If you would prefer to pursue your own lawsuit against the BMV you should ask to be excluded from the Class. If you exclude yourself from the Class—which also means to remove yourself from the Class, and is sometimes called “opting-out” of the Class—you won’t get any money from this lawsuit either through the Plaintiff winning the case or from any settlement. If you exclude yourself, you will not be legally bound by the Court’s judgments in this class action. If you pursue your own lawsuit against the BMV after you exclude yourself, you’ll have to hire and pay your own lawyer for that lawsuit, and you’ll have to prove your claims. If you do exclude yourself so you can start or continue your own lawsuit against the BMV, you should talk to your own lawyer soon, because your claims may be subject to a statute of limitations.

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  13. How do I ask the Court to exclude me from the Class?

    To ask to be excluded, you must send an “Exclusion Request” in the form of a letter sent by mail, stating that you want to be excluded from the certified class in Raab v. Abernathy and BMV. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number, and sign the letter. You must mail your Exclusion Request postmarked by August 13, 2016, and sent to:

    BMV Overcharge Litigation
    KCC Class Action Services
    PO Box 43419
    Providence, RI 02940-3419

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  14. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

    The Court decided that the law firm of Cohen & Malad, LLP, of Indianapolis, IN, is qualified to represent you and all Plaintiff Class Members in this lawsuit. In this role, Cohen & Malad, LLP is called “Class Counsel.” More information about Class Counsel is available at www.cohenandmalad.com.

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  15. Should I get my own lawyer?

    You are not required to hire your own lawyer in the Lawsuit because Class Counsel is working on your behalf.  However, if you have not excluded yourself from the Plaintiff Class you may enter an appearance in the Lawsuit through counsel of your own choosing.  If you want your own lawyer, you will have to pay that lawyer.

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  16. How will the lawyers be paid?

    If Class Counsel obtains money or benefits for the Class from the BMV, they may ask the Court for fees and expenses. If the Court grants Class Counsel’s request, the Court will determine how they are paid, such as from the money or benefits obtained, but you will not have to pay these fees and expenses out of your pocket.  If the case is not successful, you do not owe any attorney fees and are not responsible for expenses.

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  17. How and when will the Court decide who is right?

    As long as the case against the Defendants isn’t resolved by a settlement or otherwise, Class Counsel will have to prove the Plaintiff’s claims at a trial. The trial is currently set to start on September 28, 2016, in Marion County, Indiana, Superior Court No. 11, Indianapolis/Marion County City-County Building, 14th Floor, Indianapolis, Indiana. During the trial, the Judge will hear all of the evidence about whether the Plaintiff or Defendants are right about the claims in the Lawsuit. There is no guarantee that the Plaintiff will win, or that the Lawsuit will result in any money for the Class.

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  18. Do I have to come to the trial?

    No, you do not need to attend the trial. Class Counsel will present the case for the Plaintiff Class, and counsel for the Defendants will present the defenses. You and/or your own lawyer are welcome to come at your own expense.

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  19. Will I get money after the trial?

    If the Plaintiff Class obtains money from the BMV as a result of the trial or a settlement, you will be notified about how to participate. We do not know how long this will take.

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  20. Are more details available?

    View the Case Documents tab where you will find the Court’s order certifying the class, the Complaint that the Plaintiff submitted, and other information about this case. You may also request additional information by writing to:

    BMV Overcharge Litigation
    KCC Class Action Services
    PO Box 43419
    Providence, RI 02940-3419

    DO NOT CALL THE COURT WITH QUESTIONS. 

    ALL QUESTIONS SHOULD BE DIRECTED AS SET FORTH ABOVE. 

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